Saturday, February 14, 2015

Snow dyeing - a first for me

So many of you have already tried SNOW DYE. I hadn't. So, I first had to find directions and sort through the tangle of recipes and suggestions that seem to be out there. Knowing I had the ingredients, I just went for it, assembled an assortment of tubs, and donned my mask and gloves. I was in!!!!!

While I soaked my chunks of white fabric in soda ash, I put together a few bottles of dye and labeled them a bit. Truth be known, I had not yet used these handy little spouted containers. (you know there's got to be a story coming up....)

Diluted dye mixture in spouted jars

I chose the most brutally cold day to collect my snow. My lab turned out to be the basement, where I could safely "drip" by accident. The fat eighth chunks were scrunched up, and covered with mounds of snow. I started to "squirt" the liquid dye ----- ooooohhhhh nooooooo--------I forgot to snip the tips off the dye bottles, and had to remove the entire cap to actually "pour" it out. Fingers crossed.  I did a quick bed check, and left the stuff to melt. A couple hours later, I added some grocery bag plastic to cover things so they could batch as long as possible.

buckets with props to support fabric & snow

Here we are, next day, drip drying after several good rinses to clear.  I can see there is some good movement in these little samples.  I also note that I was a bit heavy-handed with the Fuscia.



A bit more warm drying - they are just damp at this point


And after a good pressing, they are ready to 1) enjoy 2) analyze 3) use for some thread studies.
This was so much fun, I may do it again tomorrow.







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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Slip sliding on the "Bunny Slope".....

All skiers know what I'm talking about: returning to slopes that are safe, easy and comfortable. When I hit a creativity block, or start to procrastinate, thats what I do.

I'm having a little fun, taking a break, and making my grand-niece a t-shirt quilt. This little lady goes to a school with lots of activities and celebrations, and at the tender age of 8, she already has a collection of keepsake tees.  

I love my new space for laying things out. I have two separate work stations at the moment, with a new countertop and sink coming in a few weeks. So far, storage is efficient and well marked, but I've already changed it once and will be making lots of adjustments after the new features are installed.

Here's my little gal's quilt getting layered and pinned. I love how this is going.  


Sunday, January 18, 2015

An Exciting, Creative Year

I haven't had much time for blog posts this year. I have new digs that consumed my 2014.

My talented husband, an architect, designed a studio for me! How happy is that? It's outstanding space and I feel so fortunate. It also makes a lovely addition to our home, with new outdoor garden spaces to complete this spring and a more logical traffic pattern throughout.

There is a lot of natural light to enjoy and I just love my beams! Views to the outside on three sides remind me to look up from my work now and then.


And speaking of work, I've completed several pieces in recent months that have not made it to posts. In 2013, I took a class with Hollis Chatelain and found my niche, falling in love with Hollis' painting and threadwork techniques which perfectly suit me. I love combining my own drawing, painting, (even my own photos) with dense threadwork - for me, it's so totally and uniquely mine.

My first attempt at the process resulted in "Oh, Sweet Carolina".  I thought it would never be finished as I got used to the intensity of this technique, but I like the outcome. Many hours of changing the thread colors are required to texturize the greens and berries.

"Oh, Sweet Carolina"
This one is simply called "Eliza".  A young girl, is wearing an oversized hat.  She's very special and presented a drawing challenge as well as thread-painting her perfect skin. Here is a section of the piece which also took hours to complete.


Tune in again.  More items on the front burner.....

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hello again

It's been a while....lots going on behind the scenes.

In recent months, I've been getting ready for a Holiday Bazaar in my daughter's community. Here's a sampling of what we hope to share with the festive shoppers....

A small assortment of baby quilts:

  

We have a couple of definitely PINK - a certainly BLUE, and a hmmmm.......















Then, there's some crazy stuff. A very quirky table runner with flowers popping up from the centers.


A couple of whacky Santa stockings.....oh my!


Our teen and 'tween purse collection is pretty expansive. Many more than you see here - and includes adult eyeglass cases, and assorted quilted pockets to store your iPhone, coins, or jewelry.

And just in case you thought our little shop, "Carrie and Pat's This and Thats" was done.....ah, contrare'.....

There will be jeweled wine charms, a few original, artistic wall pieces, and a limited collection of decoupage'd furniture for the small set. The elves are exhausted!!!


* * *

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Relishing the Muse

If you're creative, you know the feeling. Inspiration hits you at some odd hour or place, right in the middle of a ton of other things that need doing. It takes some practice to "go with the flow", and it's impromptu arrival is often not pretty. I was about to attend to my working environment - already rather disorganized - when the muse called me in a new direction.



Here's something I literally tripped over in my yard. A burl, or knot, or chunk of root, I can't say. But the grain and twists are so lovely. After a brief soak in bleach to brighten the wood, it has dried nicely and all bits of crumbling and debris have been removed with picks and an exacto knife. This object would fit in your hand; its about the size of a piece of fruit.


I envision a thin coat of gel medium or poly to protect the wood. I don't want this to interfere with the fine lines and striations, so I will be careful to avoid puddling the finish. This find has plenty of potential and I want to display it in some "artsy" way, either in a shadow box arrangement or perhaps as a piece of jewelry. Where will my feelings about it lead me? Ideas can be so exciting! I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sneaking A Peak

This is not the "official", well lighted image that I need to do - eventually - but it gives you a glimpse of the outcome I achieved.


Two years ago I took these photos of Siberian iris, violets and clematis vines in my garden.  I was so taken with them, that I chose the iris for my google icon.  When my ARTAA group decided to do a project in "blue" this spring, my iris came to mind.

But we had planned to take a bit of time away from the snow, so I packed up the completed quilt top to work on while away. I was well organized for the quilting aspect, but ill-prepared for the complications of sewing outside of my studio.  Part of my satisfaction with this piece is the way it turned out in spite of some improvisions, like working from this sofa table!


This is my favorite style of art quilting.  Not only do I get to revisit the photography session that drew my attention in the first place, I get to fondle the art shapes with the needle of my machine, coloring each edge and enhancing the image with highlights I control.  Threads make the photo come alive, as you can see in the views below.





Saturday, February 16, 2013

Inventive Minds Prevail, regardless...

Recent work,  done from an unfamiliar location, has proved challenging.  While I thought I'd packed all the supplies I needed, I quickly noticed that I needed a "favorite" pick I use for pulling errant threads.
It's a skewer-type, wooden stick, smooth, non-cutting, and ever so efficient!

So, at dinner one night, I ordered a dish that came with chop sticks.  Whollah!!  An idea.
With a little shaving and filing, I made myself a similar device.  I'm a happy camper now, and thread pulling can continue......



I'm working on an image piece, full of blues, and quite happy with the outcome so far.  The rhythm of the stitches is important to the overall design.  Hence, "unsewing" is part of my process for a pleasing result.  Now I have a wooden pick.  YAY!!